Monthly Archives: May 2015

Biblical Faith – Part 2

Let’s meditate on the part two of Biblical faith. Last week I conveyed three simple and basic points on the above topic. Now let’s move further to glean this wonderful gift of God. Allow me to paraphrase   Hebrew 11:1-2 (Now faith is not just the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen but working/functioning through it the elders obtained a good report). Bible states faith is not just passive but it is also active. It does not mean just believing from heart and confessing from mouth but it also means working from hands and obeying from heart. Did the elders obtain the good report without working out their faith? Never, Careful study on Hebrew 11 will answer that question. So last week we heard about the saving faith but today we are going to look at working faith. Let’s see what the Apostles have to say about the topic working faith.

Disciples of Christ must progress from Saving Faith to working faith.

I assume Hebrew Ch.11 should have been written in golden ink. It is the account of those saints that proved their faith by works. Through their works they obtained the good report from God. Old Testament saints had both saving faith and working faith.

 What does Apostle James says?

Careful study on James and Paul on Justification.

People have lot of bewilderment between the scriptures of Romans 4 and James 2. Paul says, Man is not justified by works but James says Man is justified by works. It may look like a contradiction but a detailed study is needed. In Romans, Paul makes it very clear that man is not justified by his works if it was so Abraham could have been justified by works.  Holy Scriptures says, Abraham believed God and it was counted righteousness to him. The difference between two scriptures is: Paul is talking about the acceptance of sinner and James is talking about the works of the believer. A sinner is accepted not because of his works but justified by Grace. However this saved sinner should not lead the life by his saving Faith alone but by the works that proves his true Faith. James on the other hand tells us this if you are truly justified by Grace then show it in your works. Abraham was accepted not because of his earlier works but on the works he proved after being called righteous by God. James gives us a practical application to prove his point. If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food, and any one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; not withstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Praying for people who are in need is good but keeping money in the pocket and not helping them to fulfill their needs cannot be called as righteous or sincere faith. A prayer without work is dead! James says, prayer might warm people’s heart but that alone cannot soothe their present problem. We should be a present help for the destitute. Providing food to the hunger and offering dress to the naked is a pure representation of faith. Aiding our dear ones is painless but Christ taught us to feed or satisfy the needs of the enemies. Through this work we prove our faith in God.

 What does Apostle Peter says on working faith?

 1 Peter 2:9-10 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; THAT YE SHOULD SHEW FORTH THE PRAISES OF HIM WHO HATH CALLED YOU out of darkness into his marvelous light:

Apostle Peter exhorts us to show the goodness of God to others. God was good to you that He took you from the deep darkness into His marvelous light. Now it’s our prior duty to go and testify to the world and show the goodness of God through our life. We are chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people these are all our position that we receive through Grace of Jesus Christ. However the world sees our life and not our status, they see our attitude not our calling. The world should find Christ in us. D.L Moody said, “Out of 100 men, one will read the Bible, the other 99 will read the Christian.” .Do you live according to your position in Christ? Do you dwell according to your calling? What does the world read through your life? Does the world blaspheme the name of God because of your conduct? Do you dishonor God by breaking the command? Analyze and examine yourself in the light of the Word. We have a duty to show forth the goodness of God to the world through our life continuously. If our saving faith is not shining like the light through our works then we need to repent and do the first work or else when Christ will come in His glory we will be ashamed!

 What does Apostle Paul says regarding working faith?

 Ephesians5:1-5 be ye therefore FOLLOWERS OF GOD, as dear children; And WALK IN LOVE.

How can a person follow God without having faith in Him? And what are the works of such followers?  Paul says they have to walk in love and shun all evil. We must endeavor our salvation daily with fear and awe. This helps us to walk in Love and offer our life as a living sacrifice to God. Not only shun ourselves from the works of flesh, and abstaining from unclean things but pursuing holiness of God, way of the Master, yielding the will in the hands of the Holy Spirit. Faith means believing God but it also means working with God to be His faithful follower. How can you walk with the belief and work together? For instance, my son walks with me but he gives his hands to hold. If you say you walk with Christ but did you hold his hand? We like to walk with God but we hesitate to give our hands to hold because we know if we give it is blessing but painful too. It hurts our will, our self-righteous, our pride, and our sinful desires.

Lastly, What Jesus spoke about Faith and works

Mathew 5:13-16 Christ never said “I will make you the light of the world and salt of the earth” but He said “You are the light of the world and Salt of the earth”. Everyone who is born of God is equipped and empowered with this property of Light and savory of salt. And as soon as he or she is saved their duty is clear! Look at early disciples, Andrew, John and Philip, woman at the well, Nicodemus, Peter and John. It’s our responsibility to shine before men who live in darkness but are we fulfilling our duty? Examine your heart. The main reason is ignorance, carelessness and laziness. They have either hid the light under bushel or lost the savor because of sin and worldliness.  They have professing faith but not working faith!

  What do we interpret from all these?

Faith alone is dead we need to have works that tells about our faith. Faith and works should go parallel.

  1.  Works towards men – A careful study on the Epistle of James and the Sermon on the Mount will make us clear our works towards men. Let me sum up like this. The law says, “Love thy neighbor”. That’s our work towards men.

 

  1. Works that praises God – A city on a hill cannot be hidden, a lamp on the lampstand gives light to all, and a salt gives savor. All this metaphors are used to teach us that everyone who is in Faith should have working faith to show the goodness of God to the world.

 

  1. Works towards God – Be followers of God. Our salvation did not cost anything to us because Christ paid it all but Christian life thereafter will cost us. For that, we must work out our salvation daily. Taking up the cross daily, mortifying the deeds of flesh through the Power of Holy Spirit. Let me sum up the Law, it says “Love your God”. That’s our work towards God.

 

  1. Works for our own Growth – If a Christian is not growing that means he is dead! When a sinner believes in Christ, He is justified by God and sanctified by the working of the Spirit. He cannot grow more in justification because that is his position before God through Christ but he must grow in grace, grow in sanctification, grow in faith, and increase in love. We must grow until we reach the stature of Jesus Christ our Lord.

At the Day of Judgment, God will divide two groups: A group of goats and a group of sheep’s. They are mainly divided because of their nature. As it is stated sinners cannot be partakers with saints or righteous. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. The sheep would say when did we do all these?? The Almighty God would answer assuredly; I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ Though the group of goats and the sheep’s were separated because of their nature but both the groups were judged according to their works.

This article supports this conclusion by setting forth this biblical case on Faith ie.., saving Faith and Working Faith. These two should go parallel in our Christian life. This topic is vast as ocean and I just tried to scratch the surface. May this article reach your yearning heart and help you to grow in faith.

Let me end this page with the words of Apostle Paul.

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the Power of the Holy Ghost – Romans 15:13


Biblical Faith – Part 1

  1. Faith is looking unto God and trusting in Him completely

Now, I have purposely named the subject as Biblical faith because faith is the common factor which we can be seen in every religion, nation and among every people. Biblical faith however is distinct than the faith we see in the world. There is a lot of confusion regarding Faith among Christians too. What does the Scripture teaches us?  Faith is not looking within us but it is looking unto God, this is basic principle of faith. Many professing Christians when it comes to believing they look and weigh how much faith they have upon themselves. They think God performs according to the degree of faith level existing in them. But it’s a misleading thought among Christians. A sincere and childlike trust is what God search in us. Imagine you are walking on a bridge. Do you cross the bridge by your strong level of Faith or because the bridge was strong? Hope you got the point. We trust in the bridge and we walk courageously. Hence it is not the strong or weak level of our faith that helps the mountain to be cast out into sea but it is the Hand of the Almighty God who enables it. Look unto God completely and trust only Him and walk the Christian life.

Romans 4:17 KJV (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. See as bible states: Abraham did not glance upon himself but Scriptures simply says “Abraham believed God”…What does Abraham believed? God gives life to the dead .God is able to give life to Sarah’s womb and apt to call things out of nothing. Faith consists of three things: (Knowledge, Trust and commitment). Abraham had all these three components in his faith. He knew and believed God was capable .Thus He committed his faith completely on Him to perform. A Loud Amen.

Let us look at the second basic truth of Faith. I want to make it precise and clear for my readers.

  1. Faith is seeing the unseen.

We may have a wrong concept that Abraham believed God to receive a blessing only for him. But we read in the scriptures God did not say I will make you ‘father of Isaac’ but Romans 4:17 say ‘I have made thee father of nations’. We detect Abraham’s body was weak and so was the Sarah. Now, here we have a great promise of God at one side and weak body and dead womb on the other side. In human point of view you need a strong body and a functioning womb to bear a child. During such circumstances how can you believe God’s word and see the unseen? Here we see Faith helped Abraham to see beyond his present condition.

Romans 4:18 KJV Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

Scriptures says, ’Against the odds of hope believed in Hope’ this is very important and I dare not to pass this without making it simple to you. I ask your attention. Abraham’s body and Sarah’s

womb was against hope in other words their present condition will not help them to achieve this promise so what did Abraham do?

He believed in Hope in other words the only Hope in this present condition was God himself and His blessed Promise. He knew God is able to raise the dead and call things out of nothing. Faith without knowledge is dead. Bible says, ‘Demons believes there is God and trembles’ why they tremble? Because they know God is the consuming fire! Even devils have faith with knowledge but we proud Christians have faith but lack knowledge.

Against all hope Abraham believed God in hope.  This gave him power for the present situation and strength for tomorrow.  Believe God but fully knowing Him. You will know Him through Scriptures, pray for the spirit of wisdom and knowledge, seek wisdom from God and believe Him and his word. True faith gives power to live today and strength to look the unseen.

We will see the next basic truth about faith from this chapter and that is

  1. Faith does not mean denying the fact.

There is a wrong interpretation among Christian groups about this. Millions of Christians think if you have true faith you must deny the fact and when you keep on denying the fact God will perform. Never once we learn this kind of faith in the Scriptures. Just tell me how did you get saved? By denying the fact you are a sinner or by confessing you are a sinner? This is enough to prove my point. I have heard preachers telling people to deny you have a problem. This will lead to hypocrisy and blasphemy.

Let us see what Scripture says, Romans 4:19 NLT and Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead-and so was Sarah’s womb.

Abraham figured or acknowledged his body was as dead and so was Sarah’s womb. This mean he did not DENY the fact about the weakness of his body and deadness of Sarah’s womb. Did this help him? What happens when you acknowledge the fact? When Abraham knew he has nothing in him or in Sarah that can bear child he looked upon God more closely. Read the verse it says, Abraham’s faith was not weaken. Why? Because he acknowledges he is weak but confessed God is Able and Might and Living. He did not saw the FACT as a hindrance for God to perform in his life but rather the FACTS made him more humble and strong in faith.

What is your fact telling you? Are you confessing it today? Do not consider your fact more than God and His Word. There is a mountain before it’s a fact, confess it but also confess that you are weak to remove that mountain but God is Able! This will increase your faith. Hallelujah!

Conclusion, we saw today three important basic truth about Biblical faith. Faith is looking upon God, trusting Him and committing our Self to His Word, Faith is looking at things which are not yet seen through the evidences God provides us through His Word and Faith is accepting the Fact but believing the Truth spoken by God. May this article on Biblical faith reach your heart and serve as an eye opener.